Are you wondering why I chose this topic in this age when “Going Global” seems to be the mantra everyone loves to follow? Of course many people can count the short-term benefits of eating global – the governments are happy, the economy seems to be growing and farmers seem to be happier with the ever-increasing world market for their produce! Then what I am suggesting seems to be the reverse of this new-found progress! Read more to find out why I am saying it!
1. It’s Healthy!
Nature has an amazing way of managing everything! She has created such complex and beautiful systems that all we needed to do was just understand these and live life according to the systems set by her. For each type of geography, she has created a distinct type of food. That food can be grown easily there and that food can also be digested easily there. Similarly, she has created food for different seasons. What is good in one season or one geographical area may not be good in a different area with different climatic conditions or in different season. So I feel the best way to keep healthy is to stick to the local and native food as much as possible.
There are two aspects – local and native. Native means food that grows naturally in an area. Local food can be used to refer to vegetables whose seeds may have been brought from some other area but now grown locally.
In my opinion, native combined with local is best for us both health wise and economically.
2. It’s Cheap!
Most items of imports of countries these days are related to food – processed as well as unprocessed. Therefore, when we choose to eat something that is not grown locally, the cost of food that reaches us after going through numerous import duties and taxes is very high and can be avoided if we limit our demand for such items. I often wonder that when such demand is increasing the imports and debts of one’s country, why then the governments are so busy pushing such decisions on us. Is it because of the restrictions of world trade or some hidden vested interests? If yes, aren’t we creating a bigger problem for us by blindly buying imported food items?
3. It’s Environment-Friendly!
As suggested earlier, every place on earth has a unique eco-system. We may not understand it. But the climate, soil, plants, insects, animals and human race of an area are one closely knitted eco-system and are needed as such for maintaining the fine balance of Nature. If we bring foreign elements there without thinking about the eco-system as a whole, we may be breaking this delicate balance, the effects of which we may not see immediately, but may see later when it takes a bigger and dangerous shape. So for example, by growing some non-native seeds, we may see damage to the insects there, or it may happen that we need to use a lot of artificial fertilizers and pesticides to support that crop. In this process, we eventually end up damaging the delicate soil and may kill a lot of useful insects also. Also, food obtained by adding such artificial chemicals is not healthy for us.
There are successful examples also when growing something not native to a place has borne good results also. But something must be common, like the climate or the soil conditions must be similar.
4. Maintain the uniqueness of your own piece of earth!
Lastly, I want to say that the beauty of earth lies in its diversity. What attracts us to different places is the uniqueness of that place. The different flora and fauna create natural biodiversity of a place. Similarly, the local food and cuisines of any place add to the attractions of that place and should be maintained to keep its beauty forever! If we make every food available everywhere, the uniqueness is lost!
So does it mean we should never eat anything that is not local to our place? I don’t think so! It’s important and interesting also to add variety to our food. And, we can do that by adding recipes and ingredients from all over the world. But we can have it occasionally rather than having it as a routine. This way we can have the best of both the worlds!
Do share what you think about it!